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Bottas explains 'to whom it may concern' radio message

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Saunders: Bottas didn't win on merit (1:51)

Nate Saunders explains why Valtteri Bottas' celebratory radio message left some feeling confused. (1:51)

Valtteri Bottas said his postrace radio message after winning the Russian Grand Prix was aimed at online critics who have been telling him to give up in recent weeks.

Bottas won Sunday's grand prix in Sochi after teammate Lewis Hamilton was taken out of contention by a 10-second time penalty.

After crossing the line, Bottas was congratulated by his engineer and responded with a message that was similar to the one he delivered after his race victory at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.

"Ha ha yeah!" he said over team radio. "F--- yeah! I mean, again, it's a nice moment to thank my critics: To whom it may concern, f--- you."

Speaking after the race, Bottas said the message was aimed at social media users who had told him to give up after a series of eight races without a victory.

"I just don't get the people who have the need to criticise other people," Bottas said. "You know, there's been people telling me that I should not bother, I should give up, but how I am, I will never do that, so I just wanted to, again, send my best wishes to them.

"It [the radio message] just came out, you know? But the main thing is I'm confident, when I come to every race weekend, I'm confident and I believe I can do it, and that's how I'm always going to be. You have to have that mindset, so yeah, I'm glad.

"Even yesterday [after qualifying third] it was tough, but I didn't give up. I looked at it positively, I knew there would be opportunities, and things came to me today, so yeah, I hope I can encourage people not to give up because that's the biggest mistake you can do in your life."

Bottas' Russian Grand Prix victory was his first win since the opening round of the season in Austria. While he admitted there was an element of luck with Hamilton's penalty, he believes the result made up for a series of recent races when he missed out by small margins.

"It's been a while ago [since my last win], but it's been so close many times and I feel my race pace, especially this season, has been quite a bit better than any season before," he said. "So I can't say it's been frustrating, but you know it's been a bit annoying that it's been close but nearly there.

"But things definitely did go my way today, as I have been saying that things can't go against you forever. So, definitely really satisfying today to get the win. It felt like it was well earned. Obviously I consider myself lucky as well with Lewis' penalty. But otherwise it was a strong race and really I feel that it can give me a confidence boost and good momentum for the next races."